Revealing our beautiful and invisible wireless world
Image: Luis Hernan

Artists and researcher Luis Hernan has invented what he dubbed the Kirlian Device to reveal invisible wireless networks.

The device, which was named after Russian inventor Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, scans for local wireless networks and then translates the signals into colour LEDs. The screen of the device changes as the user moves through different spaces, picking up various signals.

To create these ethereal images, Hernan, who is pursuing a PhD with the Architecture and Interaction Design Group at Newcastle University in the UK, uses a long-exposure camera when he walks around with the device. On his website he explained that the red lines indicates the strongest signals, and the blue, the weakest.

“The device is moved through the space, which is then registered in a long-exposure photograph,” Hernan told Discovery. “This process lasts for several minutes, and due to the brightness of the device, my figure is ghosted away in the process. In some pictures you can see my feet or even my blurred head underneath the light strikes.”

Hernan made a Kirlian Device App for Android so people can create their own images. He said: “I would love other people to get involved and to create their own images using the app. I used it as part of an exhibition of my work, where we hung mobile phones from the ceiling and it showed how signal strength was varying as people moved around the room.”

Watch this video to see how the Kirlian Device works.